Jennie joins elite scheme

Jennie Marsden, mezzo soprano, of Pendleton
Jennie Marsden, mezzo soprano, of Pendleton

a YOUNG singer from the Ribble Valley has secured a coveted place on a prestigious new scheme aimed at identifying and nurturing exceptional musucal talent and ability.

Jennie Marsden, of Pendleton, is thrilled to have secured a place with “Genesis Sixteen” – the UK’s first fully-funded choral programme for outstanding young singers. The training will take place at the London Opera Studio, The Bridgewater Hall and Magdalen College, Oxford.

The new scheme is an offshoot of “The Sixteen” – a group of 16 singers widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest musical ensembles. Comprising both choir and period-instrument orchestra, The Sixteen is the brainchild of its founder and conductor Harry Christophers, who is now keen to identify and nurture the next generation – Genesis Sixteen.

A spokesman for the project announced: “After 11 days of auditions in five different cities and some very difficult decisions in the selection process, Harry Christophers and The Sixteen are delighted to announce that we have picked the final 22 singers who will form our Young Artist scheme, ‘Genesis Sixteen’.

“These singers were picked from 450 applicants, all of whom were of an exceptionally high standard – the decisions were by no means easy! The final 22 were selected by members of The Sixteen who will be working closely with the young singers, who come from all over the UK.”

Having graduated from the Royal College of Music in London last summer, Jennie – a mezzo soprano – is thrilled and delighted at her selection for Genesis Sixteen, which is specifically designed to bridge the gap from student to professional practitioner.

Since graduation she has been continuing her studies with Sandra Dugdale, of the Royal Northern College of Music, and gaining valuable teaching experience locally as a vocal tutor at Blackburn Cathedral, Westholme School and St Mary’s College, Blackburn.

As part of Genesis Sixteen over the course of a year she will attend a series of intensive weekend and week-long courses led by key artists from The Sixteen, including Harry Christophers. A unique partnership between The Sixteen and the Genesis Foundation means that the participants will receive a bursary for UK travel, accommodation and board costs while participating on the scheme’s four courses around the UK.

“Our priority is to identify the next generation of ensemble choral singers and give them the opportunity to train at the highest level,” said Harry Christophers. “We are delighted that the generosity of the Genesis Foundation has made this possible.”

Since returning to the Ribble Valley, Jennie has performed in solo recitals and concerts at Blackburn Cathedral, Westholme School, Rossall School, The Grand and St Michael and St John’s, in Clitheroe. At Easter she flew to Norway to perform in Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater” and future plans include recording the scared works of local composer Thomas Muir.

Her next event will be a recital in St Peter’s Church, Burnley, on Saturday June 25th, accompanied by Joy Fielding. Refreshments served at 10-30 a.m. followed by a half-hour varied programme from 11 a.m. Admission on the door is £3 including refreshments.

You can find out more about Jennie at her webite ( and about The Sixteen and Genesis Sixteen at: